Join Michael Ninness for an in-depth discussion in this video Fill and Stroke shortcuts, part of InDesign CS4 Power Shortcuts.
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InDesign has some sweet keyboard shortcuts for adjusting the colors of both the fill and the stroke of frames. So, I am going to demonstrate those to you now. Let's go get our Rectangle tool, and we'll just draw a rectangle using the default attributes, and you'll see it gives me a fill of None, and a stroke of Black. Now, a lot times you actually want the reverse of that and there happens to be a nice keyboard shortcut to do just that. It's Shift+X. So, let's go ahead and press that and you will see now instead of a fill of None and a Black stroke, I have a fill of Black and a stroke of None. So, nice. It also is a toggle, so I can go back and forth.
Shift+X will just reverse the attributes for fill and stroke, pretty handy. The next three keys I am going to show you are the comma, period and slash keys on your keyboard. They are all lined up in a row in the keyboard there. They are used to quickly change the type of fill that you can apply to your selected element here. Before we use those though, let's take a look at the Tool panel and in both the Tool panel and the Swatches panel, there is this little proxy widget here to indicate which attribute is active, the fill or the stroke. And there is a little tiny double arrow that you can use to click between the two, right, or you can also change which one is targeted just by pressing the letter X. So, X just like in Photoshop. We are exchanging the foreground and background color.
Here you're exchanging the focus between fill and stroke. Okay, so let's go back to having the fill active. I would press X to make sure that happens, and now let's experiment with those three other keys. If I press the comma key, that applies the default color to the fill, in this case it's Black. If I press the period key, that applies the default gradient, very handy, and then my favorite actually is the slash key. If I press the slash key, that gives me a fill of None, a very quick way to get rid of the fill or the stroke.
So if I did want to get rid of the stroke, I will press X to bring the stroke to the front. That, in terms of the attribute, is active. Press slash again, stroke goes away, very handy. I'll press X again to bring the fill back to the front and hit the comma key to put the black color back to fill. Now, what's cool is that these shortcuts work for text frames as well. So, I am going to press V to go back to my Selection tool, we will go ahead and click on this text frame, and how many times has this happened to you? You click in a text frame with the Black Arrow tool, the Selection tool. You click on a color in the Swatches panel and guh! It applied the color to the frame fill, not the color of the text, which is probably what you wanted a lot of the time.
So, I am going to undo that. Command+Z, Ctrl+Z in Windows. Here's the trick. By default, when you click on the text frame with the Pointer tool, one could argue that maybe the default should change, but the fill color of the frame or at least the fill attributes of the frame are what currently are targeted or active. You can switch that by pressing the letter J. Take a look at the Swatches panel before I do this. Right now I've got the Formatting affects container button active. I am going to put my mouse over the little T there and that says Formatting affects text.
If I press the J key, you'll see it toggles back and forth between those two, right? So I'll just press J. It gives me the text frame attributes, so any color or thing I apply will apply to the text instead. I'll go ahead and press the period key and you can see it still does the gradient applied to the text. Kind of interesting. Let's go back to the comma key. It applies the default color, which happens to be black, or if I can click on any other color, it will apply that color to the text instead of to the frame. So, very handy. These are great shortcuts. X to switch back and forth between fill the stroke being active, comma, period, slash to change the different types of attributes from Solid fill, or Gradient fill, or None, or you can press X and apply that to the stroke as well.
And then of course J to jump back and forth between frame attributes versus text attributes, Shift+X to reverse frame and fill, and as an extra added bonus, all of these shortcuts with the exception of the letter J work in Adobe Illustrator as well. Woo-hoo!
- Scaling a frame and its content at the same time
- Using the Control panel
- Switching to the Hand tool while editing text
- Placing multipage Illustrator, PDF, and InDesign files into a layout
- Selecting and moving items that are behind other items
- Setting frame-fitting options before starting work
- Working with layers, master pages, frames, text, styles, and more!